Triang hand-cranked go kart from the 1970s

My ropey sketch from memory

My ropey sketch from memory

The internet was lacking any reference to my hand-cranked Triang go-kart from the 1970s

Finally, that’s changed.

I felt it was my duty to fill the information vacuum – so that anyone else looking for reference to this innovative little go-kart won’t be as disappointed as I initially was.

My brother Steve and I each had one of these Triang go-karts in around 1973. I don’t know how we got them or whether they were new or second-hand (we were pretty poor in those days) but I remember us both racing down the bumpy, steep little alley behind our house on the them.

At last! A picture of the real deal

At last! A picture of the real deal

What made the Triang go-kart special was that you powered it with your hands and steered it with your feet – the opposite of every other go-kart I’ve ever seen. Two metal tubes topped with rubberised hand grips were connected to a crank that drove the rear wheels by long, bendy steel bars. I can remember these bending under power, but they never broke. You pushed and pulled on the hand-tubes which drove the go-kart forward. The front wheels were on a single axle and you steered by pushing your feet (tucked under a little bar) forward.


These fat rubber wheels with gold hubs are the same as on our go-karts

The Triang hand-cranked go-kart had a very comfortable seat and plush rubber tyres. I can’t remember ever putting air in them, so they must have been solid but they were soft and bouncy and gave a very smooth ride. The whole go-kart was painted red and the grips on the hand-cranks were shiny black and moulded to fit your fingers.


The seat on this conventional Triang go-kart is very similar to the ones on our hand-cranked machines

The images here show other conventional foot-pedalled Triang g0-karts but are useful to show parts from the hand-cranked go-karts. Our hand-cranked go-karts had the same seat as the one shown here with the green wheels. And the one with the yellow seat (above) has the same fat rubber wheels (in the same colour) as our Triang hand-cranked go-karts.


  1. tony says:

    I have an old “hand Cranked” Go Kart..All steel construction, with no makers name.

    Can’t find out anything about it…

    any ideas?..or websites?/


  2. Sam Deeks says:

    Tony, I’ve not been able to find old hand-cranked go cart online anywhere – hence my post. Can you send me a photo of it? If you can, I’ll publish it here. Never know – I might even recognise it :-)

    Email it to sam (at) mukaumedia (dot) co (dot) UK – thanks!

  3. Ian Grant says:

    Hi. I’ve been searching Google for the last few days looking for a picture of the Tri-ang hand-cranked Go-Kart you are talking about. I’m a church leader and I’m giving a talk this Christmas morning about ‘The Best Christmas Present Ever!’ – and for me that was my old Go-Kart which I got for Christmas in 1972, when I was 6. I’ve been unable to find a picture at all, but your description is perfect, except mine had a yellow frame. I was heart-broken when one of the levers broke, but I still managed to work it, even though nobody else could! If you get a picture, I’d love to see it! Ian

  4. Sam Deeks says:

    Hi Ian
    Finally – another human being who remembers these fabulous go-karts from the 1970s. I have yet to find a picture of one. I keep meaning to draw it from memory. I can feel the thick spongy tires (with deep, straight treads cut all round), the shiny rubber grips at the top of the cranks that would pull off with a ‘plop!’ sound. If memory serves me right, the cranks connected to flat rods which drove the rear wheels. I can remember the foot steering too…
    You should tell your audience that it’s so rare that it may be just about the only thing that DOESN’T have a picture of it on the internet – then you can tell them about our search :-)
    I will keep looking, I promise!
    Best wishes and merry Christmas

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